Traffick in the dock?

You push the heavy glass door
Open against the wind
The worst possible angle
In a wind tunnel by the docks

The night air hits you
Warm but close
Like it could rain
Like you’re not in England at all
But about to witness a tropical storm

You cross the road
To sit on the low wall,
Watch the boats come in to moor

A horn signals their arrival
You take a sip from your flask
Yes you came prepared.
Watch the lights dance upon the water
The new waves appearing
In the usually motionless water

Suddenly, a voice
Frantic and pleading
You can’t make out the words,
Polish perhaps?

You look up
See a figure climbing from the apartments
No no no
that’s the wrong side of the window
What is she doing?

There are others
Trying to hold her back
You stand, transfixed by the commotion
And suddenly she breaks free
Their trembling hands redundant

And she falls

In what seems like slow motion
An oversized cardigan
Gives her the appearance of a large bird
Losing control mid flight

You watch in horror
The world, silent as she falls
Feet rooted to the ground
No sound can escape your lips

Then, an almighty splash
She plunges into the water
You know it isn’t deep enough
To cushion her fall

At the window above
Hands over mouths in shared disbelief
Before running from the window
You presume to see them appear at the door
They’ll curse how slow that lift is
You think

Your eyes return to the water
She does not resurface.

And as neighbours gather in tearful shock
You hardly dare to wonder
Are these girls her real housemates?
Are they united by a common enemy?
And where are those men?
Those ones who come and go
Those ones with the expensive cars
Those ones you feel uncomfortable around
If ever you cross paths in the hallway

The air feels colder now
A girl stands beside you
You didn’t see her at first
She wears a yellow knitted jumper
Bare legs, grubby knees

Mascara runs down her nose
She stares into the water
Searching the ripples for a lost companion
She turns to you and speaks
Her words are slow and full of hopelessness
You don’t understand the language
But you see despair in her eyes

Someone takes her arm to lead her away
Someone who smells of whisky and cigars
Someone with an expensive jacket
A car with tinted windows
She gives you one last glance
Before disappearing into the night.


© no face woman



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